Welcome to All Saints Church, Witley

All Saints Church, Witley, Surrey

September: is it that time of change again?

I have a confession to make, although the met office tells us September has the most thunderstorms in the UK, I rather like the month. I agree with the American poet and writer Helen Hunt Jackson when she penned the lines:

"By all these lovely tokens, September days are here;
With summer's best of weather; And autumn's best of cheer."

For many of us it is a time of change: a new class at school, a new school even, a new university year; or starting at a new school, a new college, a university or even a new job; traditionally with harvest over it is the time to plan the new year of work on the land or take up a new tenancy - though such activities now affect a very small minority of the workforce. Yet with the weather changing around us at the same time - as summer fades, colours change and autumn rains arrive over the course of the month - I still think it conjures up a moment of moving to a different period.

Communally it's usually a time of increased activity - whether adapting to something or somewhere new or not - with many having taken a nice annual holiday at some point over the last two to three months. There is definitely an evident change of pace at our workplaces (with new projects beginning) and in our homes (with children back to school). During the long dry summer both church and village have been quieter, with our schools closed and families often away over July and August. At All Saints this is made really obvious by our wonderful choir having last month off.

Nonetheless, the inimitable rhythms of village life persist - albeit at a lower gear - and a rock of stability appears to underpin the background canvas to our daily routines whatever absences or transitions are rippling on the surface. In church, our Gospel Readings for Sundays in August have been a veritable collection of the most beautiful images of Jesus as 'the bread of life' or the 'living bread'. Whilst being reminded of our duty to serve, literally to feed, others we have also been dwelling on the timeless source of our own living purpose. Even though drowsy in the unprecedented heat we have experienced this year, the call to transform ourselves and then together exhibit and encourage compassion and community in all we do is an exciting and powerful vision for our shared village life.

So, let's face this moment of change with confidence and joy. Yes, there is change coming but also energy and excitement. As John Keats sums it up in his poem 'To Autumn':
"Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run;"

"Where are the songs of Spring? Ay, where are they?
Think not of them, thou hast thy music too,"

And every blessing and good luck if you are starting something or somewhere new this month!

Please click HERE to read the Parish Profile for All Saints Church, Witley.

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All Saints Church has a huge wooden door, which, while being very old and attractive in its own way can be a physical barrier to those who have never entered All Saints before - don't let it be like that. Turn the handle, push the door and come in, all are welcome. Inside you will find a building that is filled with the prayers of 1000 years, a wall painting that is 900 years old, a 700-year-old Lady Chapel with medieval stained glass, signs of the conflict in the 16th and 17th century with an unfinished memorial tablet in the sanctuary and several other family memorials. The 18th century put in a gallery which was removed by the Victorians who added so much more, including a whole aisle on the North Side. The Victorians with three generations of Chandler Vicars built the organ, the bell tower and the vestry. They refurbished the chancel ceiling, floor and altar and put up memorials to the eminent people of the day as they passed on. The beginning of the 20th century completed the collection of stained glass windows and introduced the pews we have now, instead of the previous box pews. All Saints is full of history reflecting the needs of the generations who have worshipped here before us. There have been many changes in the past few years which help us now to use the church on a daily basis for many different groups. There is a children's trail available with many interesting things to find out and see.

Please do come inside and explore and have time for yourself, the church is open in daylight hours. Or come and meet with others to worship or chat everyone is welcome.

If anyone would like to speak to Ann, please ring or email and we will endeavour to meet you as soon as we can.

The All Saints Parish Office, is in the grounds of Witley Infant School, opposite the Church.

Wishing you every blessing

James McKeran         Ann Fraser
                       James McKeran                                     Ann Fraser

The parish of Witley is made up of the villages of Witley, Brook, Wormley and Sandhills. The Parish Church of All Saints dates from about 1040 and is situated just off the main Petworth Road (A283) in Church Lane, opposite the White Hart public house. Witley CofE Infant School is opposite the church and has close links with it.

Apart from a regular pattern of worship on Sundays and Holy Days, the church serves the whole parish and after recent refurbishment is available every day for a variety of uses. The door is open in daylight hours for anyone who may wish to spend a quiet few moments or longer in the peace and quiet of this ancient building.

The mission of the church in Witley is to bring the love of God to all who live and work there. The church is open to all people, and here to serve the entire parish. Everyone is welcome at all services and other events and anyone is welcome to use the space in church for their own charitable or social events where appropriate. Click here for more information on using the church for your event.

If you are new to the area you are very welcome! There are a wide range of activities going on around the church that may interest you.

A team of Pastoral Assistants visit the housebound, take Communion to those who can't get to church for whatever reason, and generally help the clergy keep an eye on pastoral needs.

Ann would be pleased to talk with and welcome you. Enjoy the web-site!

Please feel free to click on the links above or on the right to find out more about us.

Be sure to visit our Parish News section which is updated weekly.

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